I emailed Robert Joyner a few days ago to follow up on his article on using the Pavlik/Hopkins fight as a litmus test for the Affliction / Golden Boy partnership. The general thought was that you’d tell how serious the partnership would be depending on how hard Golden Boy pimps their new working relationship during last weekend’s big boxing event. Well, looks like there was very little pimping done. Here’s Rob with his thoughts:
I didn’t see much in the way of any kind of build for it. There were some generic hallmarks there like Pavlik and his Affliction shirt but not much else. I get the feeling the HBO folks may have really hamstrung any efforts … that or Affliction have no clue how to effectively use their ties with Golden Boy to help their MMA efforts. Probably a little of both.
That certainly doesn’t sound too good. But perhaps it’s just because Golden Boy has come to the (obvious) conclusion that MMA and boxing are oil and water and they plan on keeping all aspects of their MMA involvement away from their real business:
But Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that they’ve had a change of heart and will keep the sports separate. The companies are planning their first MMA-only co-promotion in January. The idea of both sports on the same card was heavily criticized, which Schaefer acknowledged was part of the decision. “We want to get to know the MMA market better and truly evaluate if there are synergies between the two sports,” he said. “We are planning to do some focus groups where we will ask boxing and MMA fans how they would feel about it. Once we get the results of that, then we’ll be in a much better position to decide which strategy to apply.”
While I’m certainly impressed that Golden Boy realized a boxing/mma event would have been an epic fail, it’s still funny that the partnership needed everyone else to voice up before realizing that fact. It’s like “Congrats on not raping that baby after I told you that raping babies is frowned upon. That is a positive sign. But I still somewhat concerned that you were not aware of the various statutes against sexually violating infants.”